Monday, December 17, 2007

Devi's Opa

Gone from our lives, is our dear Opa, but not from our hearts. December 11, 2007 marks the passing of Thomas Eugene Ross Jr., Patrick's dad. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer of the same type that took my mother on December 8th, 2005. With a grim prognosis and not one for long goodbyes, he announced "Let's get this show on the road" and passed with the determination and will of a fighter pilot just over one week later. Surrounded by his family, he took his last peaceful breaths and thus ends an amazing life. Opa will reach his final resting spot in early January at the Air Force Academy where he taught.

Thankfully, Devi met this great man and was able to bring joy to his life, even waving to him from his bedside the day before his passing. Burned into my memory is their first meeting at SeaTac airport in late September. We've always joked, Tom was crusty on the outside with the softest of middles on the inside. Suffice to say a large chunk of the soft side peaked out that day when the two of their eyes met and she produced a toothless grin for him. Instant buddies discovered.

Cousins Lina, Ryan, Olivia and Jordan with Devi at Opa's memorial

Unfortunate that such sad occasions are what sometimes bring people together, this unexpected turn of events brought all of Devi's young cousins from Colorado and Montana together for the first time. With an age range from 4 to 8 and Devi at one year, they all played together beautifully. I can't tell you how long we have waited to witness this scene! There were countless slobbery kisses exchanged and endless laps, assisted on a cousins' extended fingers on ever more confident Devi tiptoes, through Oma's kitchen and attached living room. Truth be told, I think Devi can walk pretty well alone, but it is much more fun with one of her fun eager cousins leading the way!

Midway through the week long visit, our girl turned into a wilted flower. Fighting an on going fever, her body finally succumbed to a very hard-to-diagnose ear infection. Our first trip to the ER as parents came the night of Opa's memorial service when Devi's temperature reached a brain baking 106°. Nothing a round of antibiotics, Motrin and Tylenol can't cure, but it was a tad bit
scary. Eager to please, Devi is just happy and smiley all the time making it hard to realize that something is wrong. With her coaching, we are learning :)

This afternoon is our second post placement visit. Boy! Do we have alot to share. In addition to this recent series of events we have many new accomplishments to note. Five very efficient sharp teeth fill Devi's tiny mouth. Unassisted steps came a couple of weeks ago along with a few new words like "santa", "moo" and "pup-pup". Blowing bubbles in the bath tub is at the top of her list of favorite fun things to do, just ahead of clapping our hands, bouncing to music and blowing kisses. Look out boys, Devi still loves to give the wet slobbery kind too! Favorite food, hands down, is tomatoes. She cries for more when the last one hits her lips. She loves all vegetables and yogurt, but is not overly keen on meat or fruit other than the good ole bland banana. Usually everything put in front of her is wolfed down before she has a chance to realize if it was fruit, veggie or finger! She loves the kids at daycare and squeals with delight when daddy drops her off. Her favorite activity is the slide, but only climbing up, not the sliding down part :) yet. Devi is a big story time girl too and enjoys the art projects. So far she has feathered a turkey, painted a cookie and made angels out of her hand and foot prints with silver glitter embellishments! We are still transitioning to one nap a day, sometimes taking a "breather" when we get home in the afternoon because daycare can be so exhausting and she continues to sleep through the night....in a constant state of motion around the crib. Thank goodness for containment.

The Christmas tree evokes Devi's constant stare when it is lit, but so far she is just exploring it with her eyes. We'll see just how long that lasts! We hope to give a photo on Santa's lap a try this week as we prepare for the upcoming holiday, but until then, here is what we've been up to.
Fast friends! Especially when food sweetens the deal.


The lengths we will go to for a cup of joe on a Saturday morning!
Although the photo does not show it, it is POURING!


Mama's little helper....Dirty laundry...


...Clean laundry!


The annual Christmas tree hunt...this time with a little helper.
The fallen noble is lying behind us. It is a dandy this year :)

4 comments:

Kristi said...

Love your updates! So glad you get to celebrate this Christmas with your beautiful daughter in tow. I'm sorry Devi's Opa is no longer with you. What a gift that they were able to get to know each other a bit before he had to go.

Merry Christmas,
Kristi

Sheri said...

Your update and new pictures are great. Devi is adorable!
Sorry to hear about Devi's Opa.
Have a wonderful Christmas!
Sheri

The Labontes said...

Julie, I'm so sorry to hear about Devi's Opa. I'm glad that you are focusing on his positive life, and it is precious to see the pic of Devi and her cousins! Hope her ear is getting better.

Take care,
Kristy

Peter and Nancy said...

Thanks for keeping us in the know about your dear Devi! We are so sorry to hear about Petrick's dad . . . and glad that Devi brought a ray of sunshine to him so recently. Merry Christmas,
Nancy